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swandog

Rusty well water...hot only...

9 posts in this topic

We have a cabin up around Longville. Our well is 2 years new and our water heater we just replaced this weekend. The problem is that if you pour a glass of hot water it is slightly rusty colored. If you pour a glass of cold water it is clear. We have an whole house water filter...I shocked the well 2 weeks ago. Any thoughts on why our hot water is rusty colored? Short of the water lines I can't imagine what else would cause this...We had our water tested 2 weeks ago by Cass County and it came back clear although they just check for nitrates and chlorform sp? bacteria.

Thanks

Doug

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I would suspect some crud in the pipes hit the water heater after re-presureizing the system. Try completely draining the water heater, then power flushing it for awhile, before re-filling.

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SD,

When you get the answer let me know. I have the exact same issue with my water at my lake home in WI. There is just a slight tint to the hot water. You can't really tell unless you compare it to a glass of cold water. I am guessing the heating of the water draws out the iron content or something like that.

Thanks,

WG

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If you used bleach to shock the well it oxidized the iron in the water. This makes the iron molecules actually "Stick" to each other for lack of a better term, and the iron comes out of suspension. Heat from the water heater helps this process.

Iron is a very interesting charecter.

Even if this is a constant problem without shocking your well, heat will add to the problem. The whole house filter will work better than nothing, but they really aren't the greatest thing for iron removal. You could also put another sediment filter on the hot water line leaving the heater.

Easy fix for you is to keep the filter maintained, and drain the water heater when you arn't there. Or, drain a bunch out of he water heater weekly.

The recommended way of removing iron is a Manganese/Greensand filter. For residential use they look much like a water softener, have the same footprint, and use Potasium Permanganete for regen. They don't come cheaply, however. I have built many of these filters for friends of mine at my cost and they were around 700 bucks for parts. If you go through a water treatment company like Culligan you're looking at well over a grand.

Sometimes, depending on the amount of iron, a regular water softener with Purlite resin will remove the iron. Iron removal isn't their job in life, but if the iron content isn't huge it's an added bonus that they can do.

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Don't want to hijack your thread, but we have a cabin with a deep water well that is about 3 years old. The cold water has a slight egg odor that wasn't there in the past. You mentioned shocking the system ~ can you explain what that is for and how you do that?

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The egg odor is Hydrogen Sulfide. Shocking the well will not help that. Manganese Greensand removes Hydrogen Sulfide also.

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I put about 1 cup of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water and then dumped that down the well. I did it at about 8pm and then I turned on the water in the cabin until I smelled a faint chlorine odor. Then I let the water sit overnight. The next day the chlorine got cleansed out by running the faucet and using the toilet etc.

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boilerguy,

Thanks for the informative response. Since this is a seasonal cabin I'm not sure a greensand filter will work for us. So basically there is no easy (cheap) fix for this...I wonder how permanent residents deal with the iron water? Do they all use the greensand filters?

thanks

Doug

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The easiest cheapest fix for you would be to blow down your water heater on a regular basis and install a simple spin on filter downstream of your hot water heater.

I don't know for sure how many people in the iron range area have greensand filters. If I lived there I surely would have one.

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